PUTTING ON A FEAST: Don Clarke checks out how the cooking is going at the Camp Oven Comedy in Monogorilby.
PUTTING ON A FEAST: Don Clarke checks out how the cooking is going at the Camp Oven Comedy in Monogorilby. Katherine Kokkonen

Why does camp oven food taste so much better?

THE driving force behind the annual Monogorilby Camp Oven Comedy event says there is something special about camp oven cooking which makes it so irresistible to the weary traveller.

"I think it's to do with the cast iron pots over the open fire,” Sheryl Barker said.

"I use a wood-fired stove at home for cooking, whereas my daughter, who lives in town, uses electric, and when they visit, my granddaughter always asks why my food tastes so much better.”

This year, Monogorilby's dinners will be cooked by one of the very best: Ranger Nick, a celebrity bush cook who travels Australia delivering workshops in between frequent television and radio spots.

Mrs Barker said Ranger Nick "turns his cooking into entertaining” and has wanted to visit Monogorilby ever since the event has started but their timetables have never aligned.

Ranger Nick making damper.
Ranger Nick making damper. Nev Madsen

Monogorilby has a wealth of entertainers booked, from country musician Chris Callaghan to Afrikaans-language singer Jack Viljoen and bush poet John "The Baralaba Bloke” Bidgood.

Mrs Barker stressed the variety of the weekend's entertainment.

"It's open slather, really,” she said.

"It's not necessarily all Australiana, it can be any genre, we've even had an Elvis impersonator in the past.

"It's up to the entertainer to read the audience.”

Mrs Barker said it is a relaxed, laid-back weekend for all involved.

Now in its twelfth year, Monogorilby has, for the past five years, raised money for LifeFlight, more than $12,000 in total.

Mrs Barker has a personal connection with the service.

"When my husband was with us, we were helped twice by LifeFlight,” she said.

"So I wanted to give back.

"They are out here all the time.”

Monogorilby Camp Oven Comedy starts at 10am on Saturday, April 20 at Monogorilby Hall, continuing Sunday morning with a "poet's breakfast” and gospel music, the perfect accompaniment to the Sabbath.

Free camping on Monogorilby State School's oval is provided.

For dinner, there will be a pig on the spit, roast beef and camp over vegetables, plus gold coin donation home-made desserts and damper.

The event costs $35 for adults and $15 for juniors up to 15.

RSVP on Facebook or phone Sheryl Barker on 41658121 by April 10.


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